Starting with Clearstep...

Discussions about treatment with invisible braces that use clear aligners, such as Invisalign, OrthoClear, the Red White and Blue system, etc.

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clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#31 Post by clearstepguy »

Thanks guys, I'll update this thread when I know more. :)

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#32 Post by jem »

Good luck with this. It must be very stressful to have gone through a lengthy period of treatment and then find out that it cannot be completed in the way you expected. I hope that your treatment is not further extended because of this. Will you end up now with fixed braces having gone down the clearstep route to avoid them?

I suspect it will be the orthos who take a financial hit on this rather than the patients.Your contractual arrangement to have your teeth straightened will presumably be with your ortho rather than with clearstep, so your ortho is still bound to deliver,albeit (s)he will have to use some other sort of braces to complete your treatment. I suspect the professionalism of most orthos would mean that they would want to complete your treatment for you in any event.

Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#33 Post by clearstepguy »

It's been a while but I thought I would post an update on my treatment.

To cut a long story short, I'm still wearing the last aligner in the set that Clearstep provided before the company went into administration (number 56). My front teeth, although technically aligned at the back, do not look 'right' at the front and to say I'm disappointed with the outcome would be an understatement.

I've been going back and forth with my dentist trying to arrange the next step of the treatment but we're currently at a slight impasse.

They've offered to add some composite bonding to one of my front teeth in order to improve the appearance of the front arch. Once that's done the plan is to close the extraction gaps using Fastbraces (sectional). They've also said that if I don't want braces they will apply some bonding to close the extraction gaps instead.

I'm not convinced that the teeth have been aligned to their final positions and I believe if Clearstep had not gone under then I would've received additional aligners to finish off the alignment phase (or I could have requested them). Obviously, there is no way for me to know or prove this since the company has now gone. considering that my teeth look ok and are very nearly aligned it seems that it would not be in my dentists interests to pay for another aligner company (like Invisalign) to finish things off. Which is why I believe they're offering me composite bonding. From my point of view though, I've paid over £3500 for treatment and so quite selfishly want to get what I paid for (i.e. clear brace solution).

So, I'm not sure what to do. I do have the option of having Fastbraces fitted to the whole arch instead of just where the gaps need closing. This may improve the front of my teeth but it may not. In either case, it means at least 6 months of wearing fixed braces (Fastbraces), bringing my treatment time to 3 years minimum.

Overall, I'm very disappointed and frustrated with the whole process and wish I could voice my concerns to somebody that could do something about it. Unfortunately, I can't.

If anybody has any advice or suggestions they are welcome.

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#34 Post by jem »

Sorry to hear you are having this problem. If I were you, I would have the fixed braces fitted to the whole arch to be sure of getting the best outcome possible from your orthodontic treatment. 6 months is not a long time and after so much time and money, you do not want anything other than the best result possible.

keep us posted

Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#35 Post by clearstepguy »

Thanks for the reply Jem

I'm also thinking it would make more sense to get them on the whole arch but I'll see what the dentist has to say next week. Will keep you updated! :thumbsup:

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#36 Post by clearstepguy »

The nightmare continues...

I have an appointment to have Fastbraces fitted next month (why it takes so long I don't know). I'm not sure if this is the right choice.

I was given the option of having my case sent off to Invisalign to see if they could close the extraction gaps but I declined. From reading various threads/forums I came to the conclusion that they would only use sectional fixed brackets to do this anyway. My dentist cannot give me anymore information without speaking to Invisalign. Since I'm not happy with the alignment of my front teeth I'm hedging my bets on Fastbraces being able to tidy them up whilst closing the spaces. So, if all goes well, Fastbraces will close the extraction gaps relatively quickly, get my molars orientated/up-righted correctly and align the front teeth properly. That way, everything is done.

On saying that, I did pay to get my teeth straightened "invisibly" so I'm far from happy about having to get traditional style braces. However, I can't afford to go elsewhere (as I've paid this dentist in full) and I'm at a point where I just want this treatment over with as soon as possible. I can't speak for anyone else but I've put many things "on hold" in my life during this treatment. The fact that it's taken nearly three times as long as was originally quoted is not only incredibly frustrating but also downright depressing. Unfortunately, I cannot blame anyone for this (as much as I'd like to) or seek atonement for the adverse effect it's had on me. I just have to accept it and move on.

Hopefully I will have some good news soon!

Comments/suggestions welcome.

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#37 Post by jem »

My only comment/suggestion can be hang on in there. After you have finally finished treatment you will be able to look back and say that it was worth it. And please don't put your life on hold in the meantime. Braces are relatively trivial in the great scheme of things.

Having recently finished wearing a fixed brace and now having both fixed and clear retainer, I am finding having to constantly remove the clear retainer to drink anything other than water and then brush before putting it back in is a real pain. At least you will not have that issue with fixed braces. And fixed braces are really not that bad, although I admit I was somewhat self conscious for a time about my appearance with a fixed brace. After a while you realize it is no big deal and that it is best to just keep smiling.

Good luck
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#38 Post by clearstepguy »

Thanks Jem

I'm sure once I've got the braces on I'll be fine. In fact, I'm oddly looking forward to it after having aligners in for the past 2 1/2 years. Like you say, I won't have to worry about taking them out to eat or have to carry a toothbrush around with me all the time! Also, it's not like I can hide them. With aligners I was always wondering whether people could tell I had them but in this case I won't have to! It's kind of liberating. :)

I guess I'm just frustrated with my dentist and the way my treatment has been managed. If things had been done right from the start I would've been finished a long time ago.

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#39 Post by clearstepguy »

3rd year update...

I'm currently wearing normal Fastbraces on my bottom and top arch (fitted in October) to finish off my previous Clearstep treatment.

Unfortunately, this is not going well either.

One of my extraction gaps has (had) almost closed up but the other side is still a long way off. Annoyingly, a few of my teeth have moved out of alignment since I've had the fixed braces fitted. I tried to explain this to my dentist when I noticed it happening last year but he simply told me "your new braces will move your teeth differently to how you're used to"?! I'm no dentist but I wouldn't expect a tooth to move in the opposite direction to the force being applied to it by the brace. Frustrated doesn't even cover it. One of my front teeth has moved forward from its old position and my problem incisor (upper 2) has started to rotate back to it's old position. Teeth on my bottom arch have also moved out of alignment slightly.

I had an appointment last week where he removed the elastic chain from the top arch and added individual bands around each bracket instead. He normally just gives me a fresh elastic chain. I think he's done this instead to "fix" the teeth that I'd said had moved out of alignment over the past few months. When I looked in the mirror and noticed there was no elastic chain he pointed out that he was "trying something new this time". So, we'll see how that goes. Unfortunately, however, since that appointment the extraction gaps have started to get bigger again! I'm not sure why that would happen but it's very annoying. I'll have to wait until my next appointment to bring that up in which time the gaps may have increased even further. Knowing my luck and with the way things have gone so far I'm expecting them to get bigger.

Anyway, comments welcome...

I might start a new thread in the main forum since I'm now in fixed braces.

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#40 Post by jem »

i am sorry to hear you are not making progress as expected with the fastbraces. I am a little surprised that your ortho has not "laced" your braces together with ligature wire to stop gaps re-opening after removal of the elastic chain.

i think there can sometimes be a certain amount of trial and error in orthodontics, but you would nevertheless hope that your ortho has some sort of plan for the final steps of your treatment. I think it might be worthwhile contacting your ortho's office to ask if you can schedule a little extra talking time into your next appointment to ask about how your treatment is going and ask what steps your ortho is planning to take to complete your treatment. If you are not reassured, it might be worth getting a second opinion from another ortho, if only for reassurance that you are not being hyper-critical of your teeth as they currently are and confirmation of what work is still required before your braces should be removed.

Getting towards the end of your treatment can be a pretty anxious time, particularly if your treatment time has overrun and you still have concerns about the alignment of your teeth. The last thing you want is to be unhappy with your teeth when the braces have been removed. But sometimes we can become excessively concerned with minor detail and only see the overall picture when the braces are off. My ortho did say to me a couple of times that the outcome for adult orthodontic patients ( I am in my fifties) can never be quite as good as for teenagers. I guess this was a warning not to expect 100% perfection. It is a fine balance and I wish you all the best. Could you post some pictures?


Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#41 Post by clearstepguy »

Thanks for the reply Jem :)

I know what you mean, it's very difficult to remain objective when you've been in braces for as long as I have.

I had originally written a long (and slightly ranting) response but it disappeared when the forum asked me to log in again. So, I'll just post some pictures instead!

Here's a current photo...

Image

And here's one from when I started...

Image

TheKT
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:44 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#42 Post by TheKT »

Wow! I think you've made great progress.

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#43 Post by jem »

Hi clearstepguy,

I think I can see what you mean re your upper incisor (? right lateral). It may be the bracket on that tooth needs to be moved to achieve the necessary rotation. I believe there are also other ways to rotate teeth. Otherwise your teeth look great and you don't look far from being finished.

All the best,

Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

clearstepguy
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#44 Post by clearstepguy »

@ TheKT - Thanks :thumbsup:

@ Jem - Yes, that's the tooth that bothers me. It was actually in a much better position when I finished with the aligners but since I've had Fastbraces on it's started to shift back.

What do you think to the progress, considering it's been 3 years?

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Starting with Clearstep...

#45 Post by jem »

I think from reading this site, most cases seem to take about 18-24 months. I would expect only severe cases might take as long as 3 years. And most orthos would not embark on severe cases with clear aligners. So I think you are rightly aggrieved at how long it has taken you to get to where you are, and with perhaps a few more months still to go. Whether this is all down to having to change from clearstep to fixed braces is hard to say.

But you are where you are; your teeth are looking good now and you can't be too far from finishing once that lateral incisor is sorted out .

My limited treatment took double the expected time ( also mainly due to a difficult lateral incisor) and I did become anxious about it at one stage even though my treatment still took far less time than yours. However, now that I have finished, the amount of time it took seems less important. I guess going through a longer treatment than expected also means that when you are finally done, wearing retainers as instructed becomes a no-brainer.

Best of luck and keep us posted

Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

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